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When a good thing turns into a bad thing


Debbie Meier
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Last night when I working Jake I was thinking about the thread about allowing the dog to find his way vs. making him be right, if you read my post to Virgil about Jake getting way out to control his stock you know I have a challange. I've have put a lot of thought into where I went wrong, his breeder told me that he does not worry about his dog flanking around to the head, he works on alot of driving with his dog, he said that he knows that his dogs will cover the draw. Made sense, work on driving, what I did not think about, was every time I allowed Jake to just go to the draw and camp I should have been countering it with more driving. I think by allowing him to do what was easy it made the difficult even harder. I have another dog that I am working with that is neither stong on the draw or the drive, he's alot easier dog to work with but, lacks the style that Jake has, Jake has crisp clean flanks, snaps to a command especially if it is toward a draw, Bandit, ladie da, he works nice has some style but it is exhibited differently.

Anyway, I guess that's why I think we have to balance both techniques, in Jake's case I should have disallowed what he naturally wanted to do rather then allow it all the time, a good thing turned into a bad. Bad to the point where he will do anything to get his way, even it means going 300 yards out away from me so he can camp in the draw. I have now gone to putting him on the cord and demanding that he gives me his inside flanks, since I can't stop him from getting huge normally, putting him on the cord prevents his escape to where he wants to go, I am making progress but when the sheep get challanging to the draw it is harder to get those flanks and to set up a drive. To make it easier for both of us I found working the ducks gives me the best results and success, last night he was pretty solid, he still disobeyed a couple of flanks and tried to flank to the draw but I was able to change his mind with a growl, he would stop and then take the correct flank. I am hoping that getting it solid on the ducks will allow me to graduate to sheep in a controlled situation and then up the challange until he is more relaxed even with sheep that are trying to go where they want to. It's really frustrating when your dog is locked down between the sheep and the draw and will only drive them away from the draw refusing any flank that would allow you to take the sheep other places, until another draw is establised which would then give your dog a reason to flank to the new draw. Were kinda working defense instead of offense, but were gaining.

 

The part that does not make sense is that the bugger will still bust up his sheep, you would think that he would have an awesome outrun, but he still likes it when they run, then he really has a reason to get to the draw and camp, usually opposite of where he blew into them, dirty bird....hoping that maturity and time will prevail, or one day the light will go on...btw, I'm getting to the point where I can see when his mind stops flanking or outrunning, as I am getting the correction in more quickly I am finding that he is busting them up less often, once he gets past that area he is ok to continuing around to 12:00 as long as I caught it before the sheep started to move. If he succeeded in lifting the sheep toward the draw it turns into a free for all until he can get himself back undercontrol and between the draw and the sheep. People have told me to just not send him in a direction that will put the dog opposite of a draw, but avoiding it is going back to giving him the easy route making the difficult more difficult won't it?

 

Has anyone else gone through this and come out the otherside?

 

 

Deb

 

BTW, here's a picture of my little demon at our first trial, it was a point time arena trial, nice thing about arena trials is that I have a chance on keeping him close instead of out on the hillside, I'm convinced I have an open level dog if I can just figure out how to train him, I think, maybe... (LOL)

Deb%20Meier%20-%20Jake2.jpg

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Sounds like you either have a lot of draws, or work very close to draws a lot of the time. Granted, some of this just can't be avoided, but it might be nice to get him somewhere else, where he doesn't have a chance to get comfortable with the draw, and work him on freeing up. He doesn't sound too abnormal :rolleyes:

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